Jonah lesson 5

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Jonah
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Jonah 1:17
17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to
swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of
the fish three days and three nights.
• In the midst of punishment, God remembers mercy
– Not even Jonah contests his guilt
– If he dies, it is no more than justice
– But, God will save this one who has offended Him. And is
running
• He is not so much hurt as he is reduced to his duty
• The sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:39)
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God prepared Jonah’s grave
He is there for three days and nights
He returns from the grave
He is brought forth for the salvation of many
Jonah
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God and Jonah have parted in anger
Jonah has fled from the Lord in disobedience
The reconciliation begins with God as the initiator
God returns to Jonah in mercy
He has prepared a great fish that Jonah might not die
Jonah has been rebuked by the mariners for not
praying
• There is no record that
he ever did pray
• That is about to change
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of
the fish,
• In his extremity Jonah prays
– He has witnessed tokens of The Lords displeasure
– He feels the weight of his sin
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When we are afflicted we must pray (Job 36:13)
When we are humble and contrite
He has a token of God’s intention of mercy
He prays from the fishes belly
From this dark dungeon he has access to The
Father
2 saying, "I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
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He has been fleeing from God
Now he sees the folly of it
He engages in his heart to approach God
Not just any God, but his God
We must be thankful that we are in covenant
with The Father
• Every transgression against the covenant does
not put us out of it
• This truth encourages the backslider to return
• From the belly of Sheol
3 For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas,
and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows
passed over me.
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See the goodness of God in bringing us into affliction
Many will not cry out to God from prosperity and ease
If we are to pray, it must be this side of death
Though he mariners were the instruments, Jonah that he in
in this place by the hand of God
Jonah recognizes that they were God’s waves and His
billows – Both made and directed by Him
Jonah quotes from Psalm 42:7
Here is a demonstration of the usefulness of memorization
When we are oppressed, it is good to remind The Lord of
His aid to others in similar stress
Strictly speaking, however, Jonah’s case has no parallel
4 Then I said, 'I am driven away from your sight; Yet I
shall again look upon your holy temple.'
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He sought to leave the presence of God
Not that separation is his greatest grief
He is in a place where no one can see him
Consider for a moment what it means to be lost
Jonah does not grieve as one who has no hope
He is revived to believe that The Father has sent this
fish so that he may be preserved
• He will again see the temple of God
• He will cast his eye in the direction of the Presence and
the mercy seat
• Remember that Christ is the temple (Matt 24, 26)
5 The waters closed in over me to take my life; the
deep surrounded me; weeds were wrapped about my
head
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Jonah’s case is hopeless
He cannot help himself
No man knows of his condition
No one can reach him here to help him
The great fish continues in its courses
The sea plants that he devours wrap
themselves about the prophet
• Unless God helps him, he is beyond help
6 at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my
life from the pit, O Lord my God.
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Here is another elegant description of his condition
He is at the bottom of the sea
The very root of the great mountains of the land are here
Jonah views them as bars to his prison
His souls desponds – he will lie here forever
He does not say that his fate is undeserved
It is His pit
If the Lord should rescue him would be grace
Yet, Jonah knows that The Lord is good and merciful
He acknowledges The Lord as his God
What will be the sinners hope when he is similarly
engulfed?
7 When my life was fainting away, I remembered
the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your
holy temple.
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Jonah is in a dire situation
He felt himself dying
He cannot help himself
Then he remembers The Lord
– In Faith
– In prayer
• He recalls The Lord’s mercy
• The Lord hears his prayer from the dephs of his prison
• From the temple
– Either in Jerusalem
– Or in heaven

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